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How did you all stumble upon lasers?

MrB

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When I was a little kid in the 70's or early 80's my dad took me to see a Holography exhibition at the museum. I was blown away.
In '88 I started first year high-school (13yo) and found a book on holography in the library.. I started kid-dreaming of making holograms.

I got as far as tracking down and buying a 1 or 2mw Melles Griot HeNe tube from a surplus mob. Not easy to do for a kid in those days(no internet) and cost me many weeks pocket money.
Over the next few months I made a HV supply for it using an old black and white tv flyback transformer.
Once it was all up and running it was something everyone was blown away by.
One of my school teachers was an Electronic Engineer.. he got hooked and bought a few HeNe's for the school science department.
Later in '88 I built a two mirror 'spirograph' laser projector that got used at a school social.. was a bit embaressing because of the ~1mw power.. but it worked.
Projector got used at a party or two too.

I lost interest after that. Holography supplies were just too expensive for a kid.
Years later red diode pointers were cheap enough for the average joe... lasers became boring.

This year I saw a website with Holograms made with a red laser diode... got me looking at lasers again.
Then I saw video's on youtube of RGB shows... hooked again!
 



Haloid95

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I came from blowing out LEDs lights seeing how bright I can get them, tooo lasers..
Soon to be blowing out diodes doing the same..:eg:
I havent been here 2 months and look what I got already...:D


Addicted ?!? I'd say yes...
Really nice collection.
 

SLPbum

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Thanks,
Still not satisfied though..:eg:
Dont think I ever will be ...:banghead:

RDCII
 

LORDJET

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Been interested in lasers since about 79' Mostly started from watching sci fi, like Buck Rodgers and Star Wars ect. Then I saw in the back of a magazine, how to build your very own " Laser pistol " Sent off for the plans, only to realize that it wasn't a " real " laser. :(

But it was still fun to build, it was a laser replica. It used a plexiglass rod and the old press 25 flash bulbs. To create a barley polarized beam of light. About as close to a laser as I could get in those days! Wanted to build a real ruby laser, but couldn't afford to spend $100.00, for a rod way back then! Been interested in them ever since.
 

Frazman187

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I was 6 when I saw Pink Floyd live for their Pulse tour in 1993 at Giants Stadium....instant hooked!!! I'm 24 now and never had enough money or motivation til recently to actually get down and dirty with spending money and building. Still a noob though. I'll admit it :bowdown:
 

Tech_Junkie

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I was 6 when I saw Pink Floyd live for their Pulse tour in 1993 at Giants Stadium....instant hooked!!! :bowdown:
Depending on the date I might have the bootleg video to that show.

I saw them in '94 at Foxboro Stadium on 3 hits of mesc. The concert was so intense it over powered the mesc. I lost my mind a few times.

Edit: Found some Giants Stadium shows on Youtube.

 

Frazman187

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:crackup: I was too young for anything like that, and got the warning from my mom as we were walking in as a family "If somebody hands you a brownie DO NOT EAT IT...just give it to someone else" to which we all replied "why?"

It took a few years of growing up to understand why. To this day I still havent done anything to make me crazy to speak of.

I still wonder what kind of lasers they were using to be able to see the beam, or if they pumped in just enough smoke to make the beam visible in the stadium. I do remember you could see the beams from the show the next couple nights they played from a good 15-20 miles away. So I am still left boggled. That continues my story of being interested though heh.

Edit:

I still have that Pulse tour on Laser Disc! AND a Pioneer Laser Disc player that still works to play it! Although they did the video recording of the concert at Earl's Court in London.
 
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D

Deleted member 16589

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Getting a green one for astronomy got me interested. Styropyro's videos got me hooked :p
 

Tech_Junkie

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:crackup: I was too young for anything like that, and got the warning from my mom as we were walking in as a family "If somebody hands you a brownie DO NOT EAT IT...just give it to someone else" to which we all replied "why?"

It took a few years of growing up to understand why. To this day I still havent done anything to make me crazy to speak of.

I still wonder what kind of lasers they were using to be able to see the beam, or if they pumped in just enough smoke to make the beam visible in the stadium. I do remember you could see the beams from the show the next couple nights they played from a good 15-20 miles away. So I am still left boggled. That continues my story of being interested though heh.

Edit:

I still have that Pulse tour on Laser Disc! AND a Pioneer Laser Disc player that still works to play it! Although they did the video recording of the concert at Earl's Court in London.
Yes they did use smoke, and also raw power too. I was on the 50 yard line and I could feel the heat given off by the lasers, and light effects at times. IIRC they had 4 million dollars in lasers, and lighting effects. I could also see images scanned on the clouds. It was the biggest show I've ever seen to date, too bad you were a kid.
 

Machro

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It was half a year ago when we had a boring physics lesson.
Our teacher, brougt a giant "block" in class room, I always wondered what it is.
Then our teacher fired it up it appeared to be a laser, 650nm only around 1mw.
Nothing special I thougt , such power can be also put in a smaller unit.
But then he turned of the lights, threw a little amount of powder and the beam was visible. That was the beginning :D
When I got home from school I immediately turned on the computer and search on the internet. My first thougt was to buy one. So I went to amazon and searched for a laser.
Green ! What ? There are also green lasers ! So I quickly searched on youtube and came across kipkay's videos and some other videos. Then I saw a video on youtube where a guy linked dealextreme. Lots of greenies for cheap ! Then bought one, of course. I hit styropyro. He "taught" me that there are also higher powered lasers. After more reasearch I hit the video "Glow Tile" from jayrob. Laserpointerforums was linked. And then registered here....
And now I know that the big "block" is a HeNe :D
 
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Wolfman29

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It's funny this thread is called "How Did You All Stumble Upon Lasers?" because I, quite literally, StumbledUpon lasers. I was on StumbleUpon.com and was just going through random sites and I saw a site that was essentially a set of instructions for building a gas laser. Never built that laser, but then I got interested in them, got a DPSS green from Rayfoss for Hannukkah, and have been hooked ever since.
 

Frazman187

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too bad you were a kid.
why do you say that? you make it sound like i have missed something else. haha maybe the ADULT experience you were having that night lol...that concert to me was a life changing event for me and i have never seen anything else like it yet. I just wish I actually got into lasers in depth while i was still in school but i didnt, but im here now. :)
 

Tech_Junkie

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Oh I wasnt saying it was an insignificant event at your age. But at 6 years old your attention span, lyric comprehension, and overall view was minuscule. I'm sure you were dazzled by the pretty lights, but most of the rest of the concert experience was blur. You'd have to agree that you experience would have been multiplied ten fold if you were 16 at the time.
 

Schrecken_Licht

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I found out about how awesome lasers could be when I was totally down on my luck back in the late 90's and looking for work. I found a job with a temp agency; the sort that places people in crappy, low-paying jobs in factories and other menial jobs. It was the best I could do at the time but in retrospect I'm really glad I had that experience. They placed me at this machining shop and the job was inspecting welded parts, and when I walked into that place and started my shift I swore that it would be the most boring job ever. The name of the company had the word "laser" in it but I'm all the while thinking of sci-fi movies and rock concerts and it was meaningless at the time.

Well, I know I worked there for nearly a week, standing in the same area, sorting the same parts out of a big hopper all day long, before I started asking questions and realized what was really going on. Next to the hopper and welding apparatus was this big box-like thing (about the size of a small SUV) with a yellow flashing light on top of it, and one day I asked the shift boss what it was and what it did. Turns out I had been spent several shifts before that one standing right next to a 5KW CO2 welding laser! From that point on I was totally thunderstruck. I spent most if not all of my break time wandering around the place watching others work on various laser machining projects (there were people there who thought I was absolutely nuts because I was so fascinated by the lasers). I had never seen anything like it; my whole idea of lasers was that they were all visible light and only in sci-fi movies did they have the power to cut thru metal. How wrong I was! All the time I'd been under the assumption that real lasers were only pretty little lights that could only do real damage in movies.

Just seeing a 2.5KW laser rip thru solid steel sheet like a hot knife thru styrofoam blew my mind and then some - so what had been a gawdawful tedious job now became a really exiting place to be (well, sorting parts still put me to sleep, didn't help that part of the job).

Then, it came time for me to leave that job (had a job offer I couldn't pass up, one that had nothing to do with lasers but paid much better) and I needed a fix really bad so I shelled out $50 for a 1mw red pointer (those were the days...how far we've come!). I couldn't burn anything with it but it was still a laser. Then, a couple years later I found WL and actually got something that could actually burn something, even if only black plastic. The rest, as they say, is history.
 

DarkSide

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Great stories gentleman. I'm trying to figure out the one event where i was officially "bitten" by the Laser Bee ( no pun Jerry). Iv been bitten so many times i have a garage full of just about anything you can modify or customize especially if parts weren't readily available; Cars, motorcycles, weapons , R/C Heili's..... Hmmmmm?..I'll be back

hakzaw1 - I was a tiny kid back then but i do remember my friends older brothers and sisters wearing denim jackets with The Wall album cover on painted on the back.. They were always humming "we dont need no educatrion" . Years went by until i was enlightened
 

Ra1nfade

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I have always been interested in lasers and lights. I also only recently begin building my own at the beginning of this year in January (also my first real exposure to powerful lasers)

The first thing I saw was Jayrob's Kit page on the B/S/T page and then Flamingpyro's builds, The List is TOO big to name all the inspiring builders in this community. Seeing all those guys and what they could do with metal and electrical knowledge completely blew my mind and so here I am. Willing to learn and build :D
 




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